What is important?

When things are good, we often take the good for granted. We usually do not think this way on purpose, rather it is based in our expectation that if things are good now, they will continue.

There is a song that has the lyrics, “I wanted the world until my world stopped, now all I want is what I had.” Many times we do not recognize what is important until we don’t have it any more. It is said that when you get close to the end of life, the only two things that matter is the relationship you have with God and the relationship you have with your family. Work, money, cars and houses mean literally nothing any longer. The question you ask yourself is, have I done all I needed to do to prepare my children and my spouse before my leaving? Have I been the father and husband I should have been or the mother and wife I should have been?

I suspect that when you face uncertainty, the things that mean the most to you are not financial. They are the people in your life.

Sometimes you never know what impact you have on others. I had this gentleman some years ago who I detested because he was wealthy, arrogant, mean and spiteful. Basically a guy you wanted nothing to do with. We interacted many times because he was my landlord in one of the restaurants I used to own. I found out he was diagnosed with late stage cancer and was at Emory hospital and one day his assistant called me and said that Ray has asked if I could come see him. I was taken back by the call but I knew instantly why I was placed in that situation. It was like a still small voice spoke to me and told me what to do.

I knew Ray needed Jesus and was asking me to come show him how. I also knew that if I didn’t go, there would no one else to go in my place. It is strange how you sometimes hear that voice of understanding in your heart and you just know.

I stopped by the book store and bought Ray a bible and took a pen and outlined the plan of salvation. When I walked into his room was looking at his stock portfolio reports. I will never forget that day as long as I live because he looked at me and laid his financial report down and said thank you for coming. I told him I was there to tell him about Jesus. Tears came to eyes and he told me to pull up chair real close so he could hear me. I opened the bible I had bought for him to the first scripture of the plan of salvation and he began to listen so intently to everything I said. At the end I asked if he would like to accept Jesus into his heart. That 79 year old man prayed the pray of salvation like a little child and when he was done he had tears coming down his face. Ray died a week later and I have no doubt that when I get to heaven, Ray will be there at the gate to see me.

Recognize what a gift you have in your family and in your God and never take for granted the beauty and simplicity of what you already have. Also never underestimate the influence you may have on others along the way. KT

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